Toward zero waste: Composting and recycling for sustainable venue based events

Troy A. Hottle, Melissa M. Bilec, Nicholas R. Brown, Amy E. Landis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


This study evaluated seven different waste management strategies for venue-based events and characterized the impacts of event waste management via waste audits and the Waste Reduction Model (WARM). The seven waste management scenarios included traditional waste handling methods (e.g. recycle and landfill) and management of the waste stream via composting, including purchasing where only compostable food service items were used during the events.Waste audits were conducted at four Arizona State University (ASU) baseball games, including a three game series. The findings demonstrate a tradeoff among CO2 equivalent emissions, energy use, and landfill diversion rates. Of the seven waste management scenarios assessed, the recycling scenarios provide the greatest reductions in CO2 eq. emissions and energy use because of the retention of high value materials but are compounded by the difficulty in managing a two or three bin collection system. The compost only scenario achieves complete landfill diversion but does not perform as well with respect to CO2 eq. emissions or energy.The three game series was used to test the impact of staffed bins on contamination rates; the first game served as a baseline, the second game employed staffed bins, and the third game had non staffed bins to determine the effect of staffing on contamination rates. Contamination rates in both the recycling and compost bins were tracked throughout the series. Contamination rates were reduced from 34% in the first game to 11% on the second night (with the staffed bins) and 23% contamination rates at the third game.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-94
Number of pages9
JournalWaste Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Biopolymers
  • Composting
  • Single stream
  • Sustainability
  • Zero waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal


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